Do you ever feel emotionally … stuck?
Ever say (think) you’re over something when you’re just not?
Could so many of your so-called “problems” actually resolve themselves if you could just BE with your feelings? (hint: yes)
I love what Joshua Wenner is up to in the world, in particular his work to help men heal from deep physical and emotional trauma.
While he does a lot of things, one thing I want you to know is that he leads emotional resiliency trainings up in the mountains west of Los Angeles for first responders, like policeman and fireman, and you’ll hear some remarkable stories in this episode about what becomes possible when men start simply being willing to open up about the hard day they just had with spouses and children; how that can even save lives.
Despite being exposed to death throughout his childhood and young adult years, including a stint in the National Guard during which he deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Josh’s real journey into grief and emotional literacy, or resiliency, really began after losing his brother in 2007 to addiction. Just three days after his brother had asked to come live with him, and he said ‘no’. He shares that story of what happened in this podcast. But that moment launched him into what has been a lifelong journey of grieving and healing and teaching men the same. He’s actually working on a documentary series called Grief to Grace, and the trailer is just electrifying, inspiring, heartwarming and touching. Go watch it!
I’ve been able to spend some time with Joshua this last year in a variety of settings, including a men’s group called Man Cave Elite that we’re both part of, brought together by a mutual friend, Preston Smiles, who was also a guest back in the early days of this podcast.
Anyways, I just really like Joshua. He’s easy to be around and clearly a deep soul who has been through a lot in life. Today we talk about men and loss, the ways we pretend and distract from our pain, the hidden costs of our suffering to both ourselves and our loved ones, and what we can do to begin healing every day from the everyday pains we suffer. So we can get our lives back and actually live with vitality, true contentment, and even joy. We both share some great practices that we do ourselves and we offer the people we work with to help process your pain in ways that are safe, constructive, and serve not just you but everyone around you. So definitely stay tuned for Joshua’s 5 Key Takeaway’s at the end of this episode of Men, This Way.
6:01 – Disagreeing in Partnership and more on Joshua’s Grief to Grace series
9:15 – Joshua’s Forgiveness Ceremony (11 years running) and Grief Yoga
13:34 – Emotional Forgiveness
17:01 – The Metaphor of Emotional Loss to Physical Pain
22:00 – Sitting with Pain
24:50 – The Importance of Grieving and Joshua’s Journey
30:00 – Fixing vs. Accepting
34:50 – Not Moving on too Fast and Allowing Yourself to Feel Anger
37:45 – Awareness: Pain Not Shame
40:15 – Sitting with Your Feelings
45:10 – How Limiting One Emotion Suppresses the Rest
48:22 – Core Wounds
53:45 – Isolation and Loneliness 🡪 Building a Community of Men you can Trust
JOSHUA’S 5 KEY TAKEAWAYS
54:28 ~ KEY TAKEAWAY 1: Love your body the way it loves you
55:41 ~ KEY TAKEAWAY 2: Mentor – Ken Druck
56:46 ~ KEY TAKEAWAY 3: Key Resource – The King, Warrior, Magician and Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette and Iron John by Robert Bly
57:10 ~ KEY TAKEAWAY 4: Key Investment – home environment
58:50 ~ KEY TAKEAWAY 5: Key Practice – Practicing Emotional Resilience: 1. Notice when triggered or not present. 2. Pause. 3. Move from sympathetic nervous system to parasympathetic nervous system (breathe). 4. Describe the sensations in your physical body. Use color, sensation, movement. 5. Sit with the feeling and be with it. 6. Ask it what it needs. 7. If you can, bring it partner or family.
OTHER LINKS AND RESOURCES
Joshua’s Documentary Series: Grief to Grace